Get ready to rethink everything you’ve ever known.
When you think of a cashew, what comes to mind? I see a banana-shaped nut — a simple, delicious snack for when I’m writing.
These super cute little thangs you’re picturing grow from trees. No surprise, I know, but have you ever really thought about that? Somehow, they’ve already lived quite a life before my hangry self destroys them.
Cashews are trapped in a shell that’s stuck to this pear-like blob of a specimen called a “cashew apple.” This abomination might actually look tasty if it didn’t resemble a toddler’s doodle taking a dump:
Let’s break it down. Cashew apple on its own: colorful; resembles my face when I’m blushing. Cashew nut on its own: crunchy, firm; an ideal snack for getting through the day. But cashew apple and nut together? We. Aren’t. Here. For it. It’s like a UFO sucking up an alien fetus that just visited Earth to ruin our perception of literally everything.
Think about it this way: You love Cheetos and you love sushi (if you don’t, you’re wrong), but the minute someone puts Cheetos and sushi together (yes, it’s a thing, and I’ve watched someone devour this without shame), you are backing the fuck out.
If you’re still reading and haven’t yet collapsed from discombobulation, then let me explain how we go from this horrifying deformed fruit to the divine cashew nut deserving our praise.
First, you pick the entire thing, cashew apple and all. Then you remove the little alien fetus. While removing it, feel good that you’re restoring the world to its rightful balance.
Next, you dry the nuts, steam those suckers and then them — by hand.
Yeah, your cashews get tons of action. Try not to be jealous. In all honesty, removing the nut from the shell requires freezing, boiling and probably some voodoo magic because the shell is full of caustic acid that’ll ruin you. Yes — nature and food can be evil and we just have to live with it.
Your final task: remove the nut from the shell. Last reminder here, you’re doing this to bring balance back to the world. Stay motivated!
In case you’re still curious about the cashew apple, which is rightly called a “false fruit” because it’s just a by-product of the actual cashew nut, here’s this: You may eat it, but it’s quite bitter and the flesh is runny, so it’s best used in juices and jams.
But honestly, I think I’m too freaked about this cashew thing right now to enjoy these poser fruits anytime soon.